From the midst of football-mad Lyari, 19-year-old Ghulam Mudassar achieved his biggest dream when he got selected to play for Quetta Gladiators at the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Originally hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s city of Haripur Hazaran, Mudassar grew up in Karachi’s Lyari, notoriously known for its gang-related violence. While the area doesn’t usually enjoy a good repute within the city, it is replete of a vibrant culture, and is famous for producing aspiring athletes, most of who are football fanatics, amongst other state-level boxers and body-builders.
Emerging from such an area, Mudassar, who currently represents Gladiators’ side at PSL, in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, shares that his incredible journey started off when he was just 12.
It all began when in 2011 he was spotted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) U-16 programme at the age of 12. At the time, he played for Karachi but failed to make an impact having taken only three wickets in four games as part of the programme.
This was the start of Mudassar’s cricket stint as he later vouched for the inter-district U-19 cricket tournament in Karachi.
When he turned 13, Mudassar was picked up by Port Qasim Authority to play the inter-department (3-day tournament) in 2012. Barely a teenager, he earned 18 wickets at 26.27 including an eight-for on debut at Islamabad’s Diamond Cricket Club.
After this, there was no looking back for him as Mudassar then debuted in first-class cricket in 2015 for Karachi Whites. He finished with a staggering 31 wickets at 34.67 in a total of eight games.
Mudassar’s track record boasts a total of 19 games – 14 for Karachi Whites, four for National Bank of Pakistan and one for Pakistan A – bagging 65 wickets with 30.81. In 33 List-A games, he has 41 wickets at 37.56.
Speaking further on how he made it to PSL, Mudassar shares that he was initially selected by Lahore Qalandars where he took part in their Rising Star trials.
Although he was not selected in the XI for any game, he trained under Aaqib Javed and Mudassar Nazar fiercely. Since then Mudassar has become one of the most promising young players of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in 2017 and 2018, Mudassar represented Pakistan in the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup and even earned a BPL contract.
According to him, his idol is Wasim Akram, as he grew up watching him on TV and wants to emulate him in every way. For him fast bowling is ‘madness’ and some control can make him an exceptional pacer.